Term of Award

Fall 2019

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Public Health Leadership (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


College of Public Health

Committee Chair

Gulzar Shah

Committee Member 1

Raymona Lawrence

Committee Member 2

Robert Vogel


Influenza is a respiratory viral infection responsible for annual epidemics, periodic pandemics and regularly causes substantial morbidity, mortality and economic burden worldwide. In the United States alone, influenza causes between 9.2 – 35.6 million cases, 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 – 56,000 deaths annually. Individuals with comorbid health conditions are at increased risk of hospitalization and severe outcomes from influenza infection and were recommended for vaccination prior to universal vaccine recommendations. Individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD) have been included in this group for decades though limited data existed to describe influenza among those with SCD. Recent studies showed pediatric patients with SCD were 56 times more likely to be admitted with influenza than those without SCD may experience a greater risk of acute chest syndrome during illness though associated costs and outcomes were not worse among those with SCD. These studies were based on discharge data from short time periods and among pediatric patients. This study aims to describe the demographic and clinical features of patients of all ages admitted with lab-confirmed influenza across six seasons and assess their outcomes versus patients without SCD. Multivariable logistic regression models demonstrated patients with SCD had lower odds of ICU admission or pneumonia diagnosis during influenza-associated hospitalizations than individuals without SCD.

Research Data and Supplementary Material